Louis XVI Assignment

Louis XVI Assignment Words: 980

Throughout history, there have been few rulers whose reigns have been as unproductive as Louis XIV. Louis XIV took over the throne of France in 1643 at the young age of 5. However, a regent ruled for him until 1661, when he fully took over the throne. Early in Louis’s life, an uprising of the nobles frightened him, and had a lasting impact. During this uprising, an army seeked him out in the middle of the night. Louis feared for his life and from then on the insulated himself from the general public, and limited the power of the nobles. Once Louis took over the throne, his main goal was absolute power. Since he had this goal, he ended up running France XIV when as more of a dictatorship. Louis also felt the need to limit the nobles. Not only did he replace the old nobles with members of the merchant class, he forced them to dress him every morning. This was just one of the embarrassing activities that the nobles of Louis’s reign were forced into. Although history has seen numerous unsuccessful rulers, few have been less successful than Louis it comes to sustaining his military, treating his peasants fairly, and managing his money.
Throughout the reign of Louis XIV his military tactics have been proven unsuccessful on numerous occasions. When Louis first came into office, France had a very well sustained and very successful army. This army composed of 85,000 soldiers who were well trained. Despite this, Louis had vision of a bigger, better trained, and more successful. Although this vision was one that foretold of good times ahead, it was not to be. Although Louis did raise the amount of soldiers in the army from 85,000 to 400,000, he was unable to sustain the army. Louis did not have the money for supplies, nor was he able to train all 400,000 men. Despite this, France fought in 3 major wars while Louis was king, starting with the Franco-Dutch war, and ending with the Spanish Succession War. Although the Spanish Succession War was a major war in Europe, France was only involved because Louis had attempted to put his grandson on the Spanish throne. This sparked a revolt against France which led to the Spanish Succession War. Although Louis’s intentions in these wars were good, the overall result was that Louis had to sign the Treaty of Utrecht. This treaty which is also known as the Peace of Utrecht was actually a series of treaties that helped to end the Spanish Succession War. This treaty may have been the crushing blow to Louis XIV’s reign as king. The treaty ended all ambitions that France had in fighting the previous 2 wars, and forced them to give up any land that they had gained. The fact that Louis created an entire army that he couldn’t sustain, sent them to war only to lose anything that they had gained, and put France under tremendous financial strain proves that Louis XIV’s military strategies were ineffective.
Another area where Louis’s strategies were ineffective was how dealt with nobles, and peasants. Since Louis had witnessed an uprising of nobles at a young age, his attitude towards nobles was that they should be used for dressing the king, and other meaningless tasks. Unlike other successful rulers before his, Louis believed that nobles should play an intricate role in the way a country is run. Along with the nobles, Louis also treated the peasants unfairly. Since Louis believed in absolute power, his country was run as a dictatorship, despite the common goal being a democracy. Since Louis had this belief of absolute power, the peasants had almost no say in the way that the French government was run. This caused many peasants to dislike Louis, and the way he ran France. Another reason that Louis was disliked by many of the people was that he was harsh when it came to religion. Louis had the belief that as king, he had a special relationship with God; therefore he believed that all people should worship the same god that he did. All Louis said “The king wishes at all times to see his people happier,” none of his actions displayed that he truly believed this.
Louis XIV also did not have a good grasp on how to run the economic aspect of a country. After the Spanish Succession War, France was under tremendous financial strain, and Louis had no answers for how to pull them out of debt. The only action that he took towards helping France’s cause was to melt his royal silver to help pay for military supplies. Although this would appear to help France, it truly was a sign of just how far in debt France was. When Louis died in 1715, he left a debt-ridden country to his five year old grandson, Louis XV. Putting Louis XV at the throne proved to be the last bad decision that Louis XVI would ever make.
Throughout history, there have been many rulers who did not meet the needs of their country. Few however, have taken a successful country such as France and turned it into a debt ridden country with little future. This is what Louis XVI had accomplished when he died in 1715. Although Louis did provide an image of the absolute monarch, his untimely actions and decisions led to his time as ruler being deemed a failure. Louis’s reign can be linked to the French revolution which. Although the French revolution began after his death, Louis played a role in starting it. Since Louis’s grandson was unable to bring France out of debt, Louis was able to make a lasting impression on the image of France. During Louis XVI’s reign, his decisions are proven to be ones that not only did not help France; it actually hurt France for years to come.

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